Massage therapies v’s beauty school massage.

It's amazing how often people visit us for the first time who have had a massage before and leave with a parting comment like 'I didn't realise this is what proper massage therapies were.'

The issue is that these clients have been to therapists who have received different training from ITEC qualified massage therapists.

Let's be clear, we're not knocking they type of massage that they learn at beauty college, we're just saying there is a difference that's all. And the difference is because all we, as professional massage therapists specialise in is healing your body through physical touch, whereas the focus for beauticians is more varied.

So if you go to a salon for a massage, your therapist will often use the same strokes in the same pattern. Your massage is purely for relaxation and so the format will usually be the same from one client to the next. In this instance there is no need for practitioners to mix up techniques during your treatment. They're not there to deal with muscle pain or sports therapy in treatments. As a result they'll usually use Swedish massages with a light pressure which don't work deep tissue or focus on health beyond relaxation.

There is a lot to be said for that to be fair and linked to releasing mental tension and even a little anxiety, beauticians are more likely to add aromatherapy/ essential oils or hot stone work on your muscles.

The cost of these massage therapies is usually less, often considerably less, than we would charge for a massage at Essential Feeling. This isn't because we are ripping you off, it's simply because we have a much greater level of expertise in how the body will respond to the different types and styles of pressure to achieve your desired treatment outcome.

Similarities between the two styles of massage therapies

Both can be relaxing, although deep tissue massage isn't always so until after the treatment ends. However, generally, both are done on a massage couch or table.

General benefits of massage

Increases blood flow (circulation) and thus oxygen around your body

Reduces mental stress by giving you some much needed you time to relax

Can improve muscular discomfort

May improve or give relief from pregnancy associated aches and conditions

A traditional complementary therapy based on rhythmic movements

Great gifts for friends and relatives including couples

Can promote improved sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia

What is the point of your advanced massage techniques if I can get all the above for less money?

We've broken down some of our most popular massage therapies below so you can see the effects each can have on various ailments.

Deep tissue/ sports massage

Deep pressure often including kneading of tight muscles breaks down injury sights and promotes self healing. It's often useful where you have physical injuries that clinical physio just can't touch. You may experience some soreness after your session but this is only minor and temporary compared to the longer term results.

Swedish massage

Sure, we've said that beauticians learn this, but on top of their knowledge we have expertise in how the muscles lie under the surface of the skin. This means we can elevate the service we provide by using specific strokes and patterns in an active and firm way to ease pain in muscles and joints. We go over and above using effleurage to gently add healing outcomes to your unique massage.

Pregnancy massage

Prenatal care is important for both mother and baby. An easy and happy pregnancy means a much happier new born. During this massage you will lay on your side and your qualified pregnancy massage therapist will work you from behind whilst you're comfortably propped up on pillows and cushions.

Fertility massage

We've seen how massage can improve blood flow, lymph flow and oxygen distribution above. Here we take this one step further to provide maximum nutrients to the all important area of your abdomen and ultimately uterus. We may also add in some myofascial release as described below to ease away any scar tissue which may impede fertility.

Lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage, or MLD as it is often known is designed to treat swelling. Often this is post-operative, including liposuction and we are affiliated with London's Harley Body Clinic to improve their patient's conditions post surgery. This is one of the lightest massage therapies practised as it is used to work the lymphatic system (vessels nodes and ducts) to drain fluid, rather than break down muscle fibres.

Myofascial release

Effective on scar tissue, your practitioner will use controlled pressure applied in a slow stretching motion to soften and ease the sticky layers of fascia. This is particularly effective when you have had surgery and want to avoid the raised bump associated with scarring.

Reflexology

Often known as a foot massage, reflexology is so much more. We use acupressure on your feet to restore homeostasis, or balance in your system and organs. It's a great way to have a general once over. It's also possible to work with specific chronic conditions such as anxiety, depression or fertility to trigger your body's natural healing response.

Indian head massage

Working your head, neck and shoulders, this is a fully clothed massage technique that eases emotional strain whilst dealing with the associated physical responses. This can be great if you suffer from regular migraines, osteoarthritis of your jaw or psychological strains. The practice goes beyond what you see being given upright on a chair in a shopping centre.

Reiki

Whilst not strictly bodywork, reiki is something we offer at Essential Feeling and so we though we should include it here under massage therapies. You may book a session alone, but to be honest, whichever one of our massage therapies you choose, you'll more than likely get a bit of energy healing thrown in for free. It's just what we do.

Mobilisation techniques

Essentially this is Thai massage which seeks to improve mobility performance through a number of assisted stretches. However, we don't advertise this because we get way too many calls from people expecting mobilisation of a different part of their body to the joints we're used to working whilst you remain fully clothed! The massage technique should not be undervalued though as a result of its bad rep. It can be an amazing way to see improvements in knots. The flowing movements complement a traditional massage helping you to have a fully rounded end result.

Essential Feeling are based in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. We are open 7 days a week for appointments which you can book online and attend between the hours of 7am and 10pm. You'll enjoy free off street parking right outside our professional treatment rooms

Massage for lymphatic drainage

Massage for lymphatic drainage is performed by our specialist, certified, lymphatic drainage therapist in order to reduce swelling from fluid which accumulates in the lymph nodes. This is otherwise known as lymphedema sometimes spelt at lymphoedema.

Having a massage for lymphatic drainage can be important for several reasons:

Our body eliminates metabolic waste through a few systems, one important one being our lymphatic vessels. This is a very delicate structure which sits just under the surface of our skin above the muscles, with lymph nodes in key areas around our neck, groin and under our arm. Other key places include the back of your knee, around your eye area and breasts.

Having a massage for lymphatic drainage is an important treatment because this lymphatic system can't eliminate waste without either movement or sufficient water intake. Something often lacking. It may also struggle to cope with an influx following swelling related to trauma — if, for example, we injure ourselves or have surgery.

This impact the flow of toxin's ability to leave our system. The light pressure techniques involved in a lymphatic treatment help the flow of this lymphatic liquid and avoiding stagnation by using gentle strokes on swollen tissue. Your physical therapist will use their hands/ palm to improve this circulation and gently pump the fluid to your lymph nodes. Your therapist will then use their fingers on these nodes e.g. in your armpit to help your system drain the fluids effectively.

Popular questions people ask

Often after surgery I'm in pain, does this hurt?

Your massage for lymphatic drainage is a gentle touch because it only needs to reach the vessels which lie under the surface of the skin. Unlike other massages such as deep tissue sports, we are not looking to break down muscle fibres.

Why do I need a massage for lymphatic drainage when I am wearing a compression garment?

Your compression garment products will help to prevent the buildup of stagnant lymphatic fluid, but it is not a fail safe. Your body has undergone trauma and the natural way that it heals is by swelling. This needs to be moved on for you to get the best possible results from your surgery and aid healing. And we do this when we perform manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage.

The benefit of compression garments is that they help to minimise swelling from medical wastes, and the benefits of massage for lymphatic drainage is that it removes what still accumulates.

I only have swelling in one area, why are you doing MLD on my entire body?

If you think about your lymphatic system as one giant circle that runs around your body, it's easy to see that it's necessary for us to work every part — even if you just have swelling in a localised area, e.g. legs. If we only concentrate on one specific area, then we're not giving you our proper care because we're just moving fluid from one place to the next, rather than helping your system totally eradicate it.

This isn't a ruse to get more time out of you, it's an important part of ensuring that your risk of infection is minimised and you get the best possible results from your procedure.

Looking at the diagram, I see I have vessels on my chest/ breast. Will you work this area too?

Yes. We will work everywhere that your lymphatic system runs. If you are female, then we will use your hand to cover your breast and then touch your hand upward in such a way that you end up moving the build up along yourself.

We will work around your head and your face, covering around your ears, down to your jaw and neckline. This is regardless of whether you are swollen in that area. Our treatments will continue around your collarbone slowly with gentle effleurage, around your breast and chest area and under your arms, and around your elbows.

We'll cover your stomach, up your legs, behind your knees and into your groin because this is where the network of lymph nodes, vessels and glands are located.

This is a painful time, it would be nice to just relax.

Strange as this may sound as this is a therapeutic treatment, well known because it stimulates improved healing and effects the removal of toxins from swollen body parts, whilst also improving your immune response; it is also amazing for relaxation.

We know! Who would have thought a health based therapy designed to remove excess waste content would also be a technique that would not only keep you healthy but also encourages your feeling of peace?

How does this improve recovery of my tissues?Charlton Botha certificate of qualification from 2012 in MLD manual lymphatic drainage massage

Clearing excess waste products from tissues and cells means that our body doesn't have so much of the heavy lifting to do itself. Think about it you go to the supermarket and you have six bags, it's easier to have someone else carry them out of the car with you when you get home than do it all on your own. This not only gives you more time, but more energy to enjoy the fun stuff, or perhaps clean the house. If you didn't have this energy because someone helped you, then you probably wouldn't clean the house at all, or if you did, it wouldn't be as good a finish. Our body works in this way, regardless of whether we can experience the results in a tangible way.

This is why your doctor will recommend lymphatic massage post surgery. We cannot underestimate the effect of massaging with these gentle movements by a qualified and experienced professional in improving your healing results.

How will I feel after my MLD treatment?

You may experience some fatigue as your body works to filter out waste because of the stimulation of your lymph system. If you can relax and take a nap after your session, this helps.

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Back massage therapist

Need a back massage therapist near me in Havering

Being a back massage therapist and doing back massage treatment generally is our bread and butter. We help our clients with their muscle pain day in, day out with our therapy on their damaged and tight muscles.

What is a back massage treatment?

It’s a kind of back massage that your therapist uses to help alleviate pain caused from tight muscles in your back, neck and shoulders. This may include a variety of techniques and pressure.

We could focus deep tissue massage on a spot or spots on your back/ body. Or as our therapists work on feel, they may decide that the perfect back massage treatment is something more general using gliding lighter pressure to ease tension over time.

It all depends on what you’re looking to get out of your session with your back massage therapist.

Here’s our quick guide:

*Chronic joint pain — we may use trigger point therapy to heal pain in your e.g. shoulder by pressing on the source of the problem at a different location to relieve the pain where you are feeling it. This can be surprising to experience pain in an area where you often don’t even know you have it.

*Lower back pain — often caused by tight gluteus maximus and your hip and often the type of massage treatment isn’t actually on your back, but your hamstrings in the back of your legs and buttocks (sacroiliac). This may include sciatica in which your sciatic nerve becomes trapped in tight muscles. Whilst this can be tender and sensitive, we may get away with deep pressure because we’re not working directly where you experience the pain. Your massage may therefore be more relaxing than you’re expecting.

*Stress or to relax — your back massage therapist will use their hands to smooth away knots in and around your spine with Swedish massage styles. We may use some deeper work in some areas where we find particular tension or adapt some stretching movements to help ease away tense spots and maximise how relaxed you feel.

*Localised swelling — particularly because of a healing syndrome post surgery or one of the common effects of limited mobility — we will us a gentle manual lymphatic massage treatment.

*Injuries caused from sports or other physical activities — it is common to pull a shoulder during e.g. training and you need to find a specialist back massage therapist who will adapt whatever treatment from their extensive massage experience to give you the best benefits.

*Pregnancy — many of our clients are pregnant, either in the early stages or their final trimester where their back is undergoing an inordinate amount of pressure. The aim may be to relax and prepare you for birth, or to release tightness in specific areas of your back, or over your entire back with strong slow massage strokes. Although this post is on back massage, we may also help you with wrist and pain in your thumbs from carpal tunnel.

Your back massage therapist in Gidea Park, Romford, Havering, is experienced in using their touch to define where your issues have started. They will track back to the source of the pain to give you the appropriate back massage treatment. We will check with you that the level of pressure we are suggesting and using is comfortable.

We won’t use deep tissue massages if we don’t think that they are the best for your health or condition.

This is because they are uncomfortable and there’s no point enduring a painful hour if there is no real benefit. Not many of our clients want a painful hour just for the sake of it!

Aftercare following your back massage treatment

We’ll always advise you on the different ways you can help yourself between sessions with stretches or other self care. And then of course, it’s always good to know about future prevention. We’re not like chiropractors who explain about you needing an excessive number of sessions in order to improve your condition. We want you to heal as fast as possible so that you recommend us to your friends. This is the lifeblood of our business.

One tip we’ll give you for free now because it applies to pretty much everyone who walks through our doors is that you need to drink enough water that your pee runs clear. This is because water is one of the key tools our body uses to flush away all the bad stuff that is stored. The water may be hot or cold, but please, drink it.

Water will also help your body heal from a strain. Or from the massage if you’ve had a deep tissue back massage treatment. It’s like the oil that maximises fluidity. We’re not wagging our fingers, but we want you to be better fast. It also helps avoid conditions in the future.

How to book a session with a specialist back massage therapist.

We have appointments 7 days a week. And they run from 7am to 10pm so we’re sure you’ll find some availability to suit your busy schedule. You can book online, you don’t need to worry about the massage styles. Just book a slot with our back massage therapist and when you arrive we’ll figure out what will give you the most lasting relief depending on your consultation form and our pre massage chat.

Book your treatment with your back massage therapist in Gidea Park, now.

Back massage deep tissue

Back massage deep tissue — how it helps your entire health.

If you’re looking for a back massage deep tissue is the best for eking out pain from tight knots in shoulders and your neck. Don’t get us wrong, there are all kinds of pressure that you can use during a back massage but deep tissue therapy breaks down chronic tension in your muscles by applying pressure. This targeted type of massage techniques by your therapist during your treatment is beneficial for your overall health, not just your back.

Here’s why.

When we work a muscle, we may look at that area of your body. But, all muscles are interconnected — think about your body as an elaborate domino set. If we apply treatment to conditions on your back during a massage, these will indirectly affect other areas.

For instance — if your neck is tight, you may suffer with headaches. If your jaw is tight, you may also have to deal with headaches. This is because your muscles connect.

For instance, if you have lower back pain, you’ll probably be standing dominant on one leg. This pushes your hip out of alignment. This will affect the curvature of your spine and create pain or tension in your opposite shoulder. It could also lead to pain in your knee and foot/ ankle at the opposite side to your dominant leg. This is how massage can help to improve conditions that you never even thought about.

When you have tense muscles and tissues, they contract. This causes blood flow to be compromised. When we loosen the muscle, your circulation then improves. There are many a study that proves the importance of how good blood flow in a person can not only improve our ability to heal from injury but also how these strokes mean that people feel the benefits in their overall health.

This is because blood carries many of the nutrients our body needs for overall wellbeing.

It doesn’t matter whether we release tension in your upper back with deep tissue massage, your shoulder, arm, hand, forearm or even your legs. What’s important is that we allow the blood to flow and then your body fixes itself as the tools it needs become available.

When looking for a back massage deep tissue is hugely beneficial.

As we’ve seen, working through the different layers of skin, fat, fascia and using our hands and elbows may be uncomfortable for the short term of your massages, but the benefits last longer than the hour you’re on the table.

If you’re looking to just escape stress and relax, then book in for a Swedish back massage which uses light motion on your back with minimal pressure from our thumbs!

But, if you’re looking for a remedial back massage deep tissue helps with all types of muscular sports injuries. Down to the strain of poor posterior posture or a more sedentary lifestyle such as sitting at a desk. Deep tissue back massage is one of our best complementary rehabilitation treatments for sore muscles, stiffness in individuals and to provide relief from lack of movement.

Our clients range from professional athletes to general gym goers and team participants, all the way to people who will avoid exercise sessions at all costs!

Our therapists can work with all of these physical (muscular) medical conditions within personally tailored massage sessions. We may start with a therapeutic deep tissue massage on your back, and then gradually as we work out a specific condition we’ll uncover some deeper underlying painful condition that is the actual cause of your discomfort.

Referred pain example

If you have a condition called ankylosing spondylitis, this is when the bones of your spine fuse (see image at top of page). For sure as this presses on your nerves and as your range of motion reduces, you’ll feel some pain in the area.

But, you could also suffer with pain in your chest for example. This is because your problems with movement mean that there is an inflammation of the connective tissue which sits between our patient’s ribs. You may also feel severe pain in your forearms.

This referred pain can alarm, who’d have thought that a massage gliding over a concentrated area could ease such seemingly unrelated conditions.

Professional massage touch is an important part of modern integrative healthcare. Massaging isn’t just an hour out from life anymore.

We’re not just looking to hurt you with a dig of our elbow (or knuckles and fingers), we’re looking for the effects of your sessions so we can have you leave pain free.

How will I feel after my back massage deep tissue?

You may feel some soreness and perhaps even some bruising as we’ve had to use deep pressure to break down adhesions. This is intended damage to prompt our internal natural healing response; you’ll feel it in the area we have worked, so for instance, if we have massaged your calf this is where you will feel tender.

You may also have what we call ‘healing response’. If you’ve received a deep tissue back massage, then when you move your back or shoulder for a few days, you’ll be reminded you’ve had a back neck and shoulder massage. But, often an effective massage will also release dormant toxins which our system then needs to eradicate. This is a bit like the improved blood circulation we talked about earlier.

Water

Until our system has had the time to get these out they may reach localised areas of our body, for instance our head and give us a headache. We may feel cold as our body diverts energy to eradicate these toxins rather than keeping us warm which it doesn’t see as being vital for life at this point in time. The best medicine is water. It helps your body to flush out the waste that has been lying dormant and is now overloading us. Every bit of help we can give our body, the better and faster we will enjoy the relaxation that follows a good deep tissue back massage.

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BBL post op care

A Brazilian butt lift or bbl as it is known is a fat transfer procedure which changes the shape of the buttocks by using excess fat cells from one area and transferring them, via an injection, to your butt. Essentially this is a surgical butt augmentation procedure and so there are some post op after care advice that not only aid your healing, but also the effect of your surgery. So what are the ins and outs of BBL post op care?

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

The process of taking fat from one area of your body e.g. thighs and repositioning this newly transplanted fat into another area e.g. buttocks is otherwise known as lipofilling, lipomodelling or fat grafting.

This procedure has been around since the nineties. However, it has hit the headlines in recent years for the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).

Many people don’t even know that they will need some help to maintain a good finish to their surgery for a good few months post op. For some reason many surgeons will mention the compression garment that you will wear to help keep your fat cells in place in your buttocks, but they often fail to mention the manual lymphatic drainage which eases your recovery period. Until after surgery is complete that is. And then they slip that in. So if you’re unsure, ask.

How many weeks post op do I need to have MLD (manual lymphatic drainage massage) on the buttock?

First, it’s important to understand that your lymphatic system runs throughout your entire body draining toxins and excess fluid. When you have MLD it therefore won’t just be on the buttocks even though this is where you’ve had transplanted fat cells.

Your consultant will advise you on wearing your compression garment, and then also usually they’ll say that anything from one day to several weeks post op, you should get an MLD massage. Manual lymphatic drainage helps your body to cope with the trauma of the operation. Because although you’ve had the fat cells from one part of your body transferred to another, this is still surgery. And so, still invasive trauma that your system still struggles to cope with many weeks post op.

During this period your immune system will send fluid containing healing properties to your butt. And then this fluid will drain away waste. What can happen during this time is that your lymphatic system which is incredibly fine, can become overloaded.

This creates a backup.

And as this system works through movement (which post BBL you’re likely not doing a lot of) or from drinking water (which you’re also unlikely to be doing as much of as you should); then this is why you often run into problems of swelling and hard fatty deposits which sit under the skin’s surface.

Your compression garment will help with some of these BBL post op care issues. But it isn’t a fail-safe. Our body will need a little helping hand to ease and speed up the recovery period. Without this, your healing process may not be fast enough and you run the risk of not getting the best possible outcome after the surgery.

Why does newly transplanted fat create hard spots (fat necrosis)?

The hard round lumps or dimpling (unevenness) that patients regularly find under their skin following all kinds of cosmetic surgery, and in bbl post op care fat necrosisparticular Brazilian Butt Lifts are in fact dies off.

This process of fat dying is called necrosis and happens when an area doesn’t have the correct blood supply to feet it the nutrients it requires to continue to live. The area may even turn black.

As we said earlier MLD massage helps your body heal in the period of time following your operation. It allows the body the support it needs to feed nutrients to the newly located fat cells. And for debris to be removed.

This is of paramount importance for a great finish, but also to healthy post-op cells.

Fat necrosis is a well-known complication after the surgery for BBL so always discuss the risk of developing the condition with your doctor ahead of your surgery. You should specifically ask about BBL post-op care.

What happens during a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift)?

The fat transfer procedure happens in three stages:

*Thin cannulas are used to remove the excess fat
*They then was and filter the fat cells
*You receive an injection of this fat back into your body, in this case, into your butt

It depends on the area and how much volume of fat you’re having transferred, but the BBL operation can happen under either a local or general anaesthetic. The procedure itself can take up to two hours.

How long does it take after the surgery for bbl for me to see results?

Many people think that the results will be visible within a few weeks.

Wrong.

Patients often need to wait up to six months to see the final results of their fat transfer procedure.

During this time you should be vigilant in checking that there is no necrosis. Also, at the time of writing, BBL is renowned for being the riskiest cosmetic surgery, even inducing death of patients. This is because fat has been mistakenly injected into arteries which travels to the heart. Choose your consultant wisely.

Will I experience pain during the Brazilian butt lift post op massage?

This is an incredibly gentle procedure so even if your have a lot of bruising, you will be surprised at the ease that you can deal with even your initial treatment. You’ll feel more pain from the compression garment than you will from an MLD massage.

During the procedure, we’ll work around how you can lie and plump you with soft pillows and bolsters if this makes you more comfortable. We’ll only work on your swelling once you are settled.

How long will it take for me to see results following the MLD?

This depends on the size of the swelling and how long you have left it post surgery to come along for your manual lymphatic drainage massage.

Some people see results straight away. They’ll get back in their compression garment they’re wearing and immediately feel like the swelling has gone down. However, this result will not be permanent. Your body is constantly fighting to heal incisions, scarring and tissue damage. And so, it needs constant support during this fragile time to aid your healing.

Long term results take up to six months to see the final finish. During this period, you will continue to have your MLD sessions, although by this time you should need them less regularly than when you first start. You’ll probably be down to a maintenance programme of every week or so.

All of the information in this article is from our knowledge as massage therapists. For medical advice, you must always speak to your specialist practitioner, surgeon or doctor.

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What is massage for sports injuries?

Massage for sports is massage that involves the manipulation of soft tissues for the benefit of a person engaged in regular physical activity. This could be to treat pain, improve the effects of blood flow on your body or deep muscular work performed to improve flexibility and other performance benefits. So whilst most people think of sports massage as a massage for sports injuries, this isn’t always the case.

What are soft tissues?What is soft tissue in relation to massage for sports

Soft tissues are connective tissues that have not hardened in bones and cartilage; they include skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a form of connective tissue that covers and envelops other soft tissues).

Sports massage are techniques designed to help correct problems and imbalances in soft tissues from repetitive and intense physical activity and trauma.

Using sports massages, before and after exercise, can improve your performance, help recovery and prevent injuries.

History of massage for sports persons

Massage is registered as one of the first forms of physiotherapy and was used more than 3000 years ago in China, India and Greece. Its popular use in the Western world is largely due to the work of Per Henrik Ling (1776 – 1839), who developed the form of massage now known as Swedish massage.

Ling developed its own style of massage and exercise to help fencers and gymnasts, gaining international recognition in the process.

Many of his ideas formed the basis of modern sports massage. Today, there are many forms of massage available to help us maintain our health and well-being.

Sports massage has been accepted in the United States, Canada and Australia for many years, while in the United Kingdom the practice of easing away muscle tightness with massage for sports performance became known and more widely used only in the 1990s.

What is sports therapy?

Sport therapy involves a higher level of training that includes a broader set of supportive skills and knowledge. There is general agreement in the UK on some key areas that are essential for sports therapy, although the emphasis varies from one training provider to another, some favour soft tissue therapy and others focus on rehabilitation or emergency care.

It is widely accepted that sports therapy includes: Anatomy and Physiology Sports Massage. This is why your therapist at Essential Feeling is qualified in A&P.

The general area in which a sports therapist will work is to help individuals and teams move from the ability to perform normal daily physical functions to highly qualified sports activities.

Beginning in the mid-1990s they made a collective effort to make sport therapy a “regulated” profession with a protected title through the Health Professions Council (HPC). The term “protected title” would mean that only those who have proven that they meet the required standards can exercise under the chosen title; here, sports therapy.

All those interested in this area agreed that the minimum level of education to be practised in this area would be university level. More recently, however, HPC has limited applications to occupations that pose a risk to the general public. Sport therapy has been considered safe and will therefore not be presented to HPC unless there is a policy change in the future. This is not foreseeable at this time.

Are massages good for athletes?

If you are an athlete or an exercise enthusiast, receiving regular massages could transform the way you engage in your activity. Massage can help you do more than you want by increasing the range of motion and flexibility, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, relaxing the body and preventing injuries.

What are the benefits of sports massage?

Advantages of therapeutic sports massage Increased amplitude of movement, which leads to better performance. Decreased muscle stiffness and pain after exercise or physical activity. Reduced recovery time after injury Increased relaxation levels and reduced physical and psychological stress

How do you prepare for a sports massage?

How to prepare for a deep tissue massage

Do research to find a good massage therapist with experience and great qualifications.

Preparing relevant health information for the therapist via the online consultation form you’ll be sent once you’ve booked.

Drink a little water.

Take a hot or warm shower before the massage to loosen the muscles and help you put yourself in a relaxed state.

Wear loose and comfortable clothes for the massage appointment — this will help you stay relaxed when you leave.

Do sports massages hurt?

A massage for sports isn’t gentle. And so you are likely to feel some discomfort , during and after a massage. This is completely normal and, in general, means that it works. But a sports massage should never cause you as much pain as you feel the need to tire yourself to endure it. If your muscles are tense, they will not benefit much from the massage.

Sports massage is not only for athletes?

Sports massage techniques are suitable for athletes as well as non-athletes and can help relieve injuries, chronic pain, muscle pain and limited freedom of movement in all of us.

Will massage for sports get rid of knots?

Muscles can produce lactic acid in large quantities, which can solidify to form nodes. Techniques used in sports massage help to drain lactic acid and other waste from the body. This, in turn, helps to relieve the nodes and accelerate the recovery of muscles.

Can you run after a sports massage?

In general, it is usually normal to do some light exercise, such as walking or jogging, after receiving a massage. If you’re not sure, ask your therapist at Essential Feeling, Romford. They will be happy to provide some advice on post-treatment after massage

Is this a full sports massage of the body?

Unlike a full body massage, the therapist is likely to focus on specific areas of the body once an evaluation has been performed before treatment.

Is a deep tissue massage the same as a sports massage?

Sports massage is appointed for sports-specific injuries.

The difference between this and deep tissue massage is that this modality focuses more specifically on chronic muscle tension and stress reduction.

What is the best massage for muscle knots?

Deep tissue massage protocol: The best massage technique to relieve stress and muscle tension is deep tissue massage by qualified and experienced therapists. This friction can loosen the painful “knots”, release lactic acid in muscles and realign the deep layers of the tissues improving the feeling of strain and fatigue. This is thanks to a combination of firm pressure and slow blows. Your therapist will work not only on the usual muscles, but also on the connective tissue.

Is the massage good after the gym?

Benefits of a post-workout massage Getting a massage once you have finished training helps reduce muscle soreness by reducing inflammation and improving recovery time by accelerating cell regeneration. Studies show that the key to keep in mind is that massage intervention should be done as soon as possible after exercise.

What massage techniques do you use during a massage for sports?

It depends on what we’re trying to do, we could be helping you heal from injury, recover faster post workout, or improve flexibility. Each requires a different approach from your massage therapist which is why it’s important to choose a well qualified and experienced one.

You could expect some level of kneading, petrissage, effleurage treatments along with active strokes over a controlled period. We’ll also likely include some trigger point work which consists of sustained manual pressure on one area of a clients body. When this point releases, the domino effect will ease other problem areas.

To some degree, due to the unique nature of body mechanics, your session will always have a degree of being experimental, in that your therapist will adapt their skill to give you a dynamic treatment based on how they feel your body reacting to the treatment when you are on the table.

We’ll not only adjust the techniques but also the pressure and intensity under our hand.

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Benefits of a neck massage

Before we look at the benefits of a neck massage, we need to look at the muscles of the neck. Because without understanding how these interact with an increase in pressure around the shoulder areas and the trigger points of the shoulder and other parts of our anatomy, it’s impossible to truly understand how a neck massage can help you. Both in terms of cognition and brain functioning, and general comfort — or avoiding discomfort.

So here goes.

Neck muscles

As you can see from this image, your neck is constructed of a series of small, thin strands of muscle. Therefore, when Anatomy of the neck muscles for neck massageyou run your hand over your neck when it’s tight, you will feel these fibres as lumps and bumps under your skin.

These muscles are under constant strain, holding up our head, which on average weighs around 5kg of constantly moving weight.

If you look at a tree which needs to sway in the wind without breaking, it grounds the trunk into roots which splay out into the ground at the bottom.

Our body works similarly, connecting our thin neck muscles to a larger fan like muscle which spreads out over our shoulders and anchors down our spine.

Whilst this works great for meaning our head doesn’t roll off our shoulders, it also means that as soon as this way larger muscle becomes tight or in any way damaged, it’s easy for our neck to be pulled out of alignment. This results in us suffering with neck pain.

And this is how a neck massage from a qualified and experienced professional massage therapist has benefits.

Why shouldn’t I get a neck massage from a less qualified or experienced massage therapist?

As you can see from the image below, there are a ton of nerves and arteries running in and out of our neck, feeding our brain and taking the commands from our brain around the rest of our body. A neck massage from your partner, or using one of the neck massagers on the market, can feel great. But they come with an inherent risk. You run the risk of doing some damage if you press the wrong part of your neck.

Trigger points affecting neck massage

Even if it feels like you’re relieving tension in a particular spot with just the perfect pressure, you may inadvertently catch another area with your fingers, and what starts out as a relaxation therapy, can quickly turn into a bigger problem.

You could even damage the blood flow to tissues whilst trying to relieve knots and stress. And then a headache is the least of your worries. It’s not uncommon for people to end up having a stroke after a bad neck massage.

Seriously. It’s no joke.

neck anatomy and why you shouldn't massage your own neck

How many people do you know who apply pressure to their neck and end up in more pain?

So, if I want to give myself a neck massage, what advice do you have?

Put no firm massage on an area. You’re looking to only stroke the muscles with your thumbs and palms of your hands.

If this light, fingertip and thumb pressure doesn’t reduce your pain, then you can use some stretch techniques. Be sure to do this for long enough. And don’t just whip your head around from one side to the next, or even in a circular motion. That will cause more damage to the slight areas that connect the joints into your skull (suboccipital) and could cause even more headaches and problems.

My therapist will ball their fist and massage in a rolling motion, isn’t that dangerous?

Not if your therapist has studied anatomy and physiology as we have done at Essential Feeling in Romford. This is because we know where we’re heading with our pressure and the physical structure of your neck underneath your skin into the deeper layers of tissues.

What are the symptoms that I need a neck massage?

*A general tightness in the area or a stiffness across your shoulders

*Headaches and tension around your eyes. This can even run into your jaw.

*A crunching of the bones in your neck, either chronic or acute can be a sign that you need a neck massage because the muscles which surround small bones may be pulling them so the bones grind.

*Reduced nerve sensation may improve from a neck massage, but this very much depends on the deeper cause. This isn’t a fail-safe.

*If you’re suffering with mental stress, it’s often easier to relax after a gently relaxing neck massage.

What steps can I take to avoid needing a neck massage?

Our modern life is geared firmly towards us suffering with neck pain. Our shoulders are constantly up around our ears from a combination of stress, computer work and driving. Reducing this kind of static activity or moving around more frees up this tension and prevents the fibres from sticking in the wrong position. But, if that were possible, we’d all be doing it already.

Life and commitments don’t allow for us to be allowing continuous motions throughout the course of a busy day.

Perhaps you could do some types of stretching whilst you sit at your desk or in traffic? If you remember.

It may be possible to move your arms out of a static position which will help release how tense these connecting muscles are with a knock on effect on your neck.

Beyond this, you’re looking at treatment from a neck massage, we’re afraid. But it can be an enjoyable experience. And if you have them regularly, you will actually avoid injury because your muscles won’t ever become so tight that they cause you issues.

Book your neck massage online now.

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Sport massage therapist near me. Gidea Park, Romford

What to look for when you’re searching out the best sport massage therapist near me in Gidea Park, Romford.

First, we’d always recommend a great qualification. Someone who is ITEC certified, as Charlie is at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford, has learnt the basics well right from the start of their training. So well in fact that his qualifications are recognised internationally so he can travel and work around the world.

How long have they been practising?

But, second, we always advise you to think about how long your sport massage therapist has been practising.

Charlie has been working on injured sports people for almost ten years now. And what’s more is that this is his primary job. He only earns his money from being a massage therapist. When you drill down, you’ll find that many people do sports massage therapy as a side job, so they only spend a few hours a week dealing with client’s pain and injury.

Working hours builds experience. And knowledge.

In short, they don’t have enough hours behind their belt working on bodies to be experienced, no matter how many years it is since they qualified. This can be a genuine issue as a lot of soft tissue work is from the experience of learned touch. It’s this experience that tells us which techniques we need to use on a particular muscle injury that different clients present with. Our bodies are all unique and it takes time to develop the skills to read what is going on inside a body, underneath the layers of skin.

This experience also helps us to feel when injuries are not muscular and therefore whatever level of massage treatment we try, we know that you need to see your doctor for their help. Less experienced, or less qualified therapists won’t necessarily know this and this could hinder rather than aid your recovery.

When you come to Essential Feeling looking for a sport massage therapist near me, you’re in expert hands. We’re a professional business, we’re not a day spa. We have trained to a high standard, continue to develop our knowledge via continued development, and have been working only in the remedial massage industry for years. We can provide you with a range of modalities best suited to what your body needs for optimal healing.

We’re experienced sport massage therapists and ITEC qualified

Our experience also means that we may offer additional exercise advice that will further improve the performance of your treatments.

Benefits of sport massage therapist near meWhat is the benefit of choosing a sport massage therapist near me, rather than someone who just does massage?

Not all bodywork is the same, and the service each massage therapist offers has pros and cons. If you race off to the services of a beauty therapist, it’s likely that their massage and anatomy and physiology qualifications will be less extensive than a sports massage specialist. They’re great if you want to relax, but generally, they don’t cover how stress affects your mind and body, let alone for example the minutae detail of the movement of a runners muscles during an event. Nor the effects of the level of strain that a fitness session can induce. You’ll still improve your relaxation.

Think about it this way. You go to your GP and then they send you off to a specialist health clinic post appointment for them to view exactly what is going on with you and help you get better. This happens in all aspects of health care, and massages are no different. So, if you’re looking for professional relief from your musculoskeletal issues, then choose a specialist.

As soon as you visit a specialist massage therapist, they know what kind of therapeutic pressure to use. Sometimes you need deep work to reduce physical muscle tightness, but other times we need to improve your blood flow (circulation) by using a lighter pressure. Your specialist sport massage therapist at Essential Feeling will know that through a combination of experience and training as we’ve mentioned above.

I come in with aching joints and leave with soreness, what’s that all about?

This is one issue that prevents clients from booking in. For sure if your sport massage therapist has designed a treatment plan that involves breaking down your muscles, and even some specific trigger point therapy, then you may write in your journal at night about how you’re aching after your session. And this could last a few days.

But, we load these advanced techniques with longer-term benefits. Even while you’re aching, you’ll notice that you’re more agile, you can move more, and even though you’re aware of sore tissues, it’s a distinct feeling to injury. You’re on your path to wellness and you can feel it.

Once the aching wears off in a few days, athletes feel strong. You’ll have impeccable motion compared to before your session and you’ll be thanking your practitioner for easing your dysfunction and bumping you up towards meeting your personal goal.

Book your session online now and improve your performance

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Your questions answered — what is the best type of massage for lower back pain

Today we’re looking at what is the best type of massage for lower back pain.

To work out how to best use therapy to help your lower back pain, we need to think about whether the cause of your body pain is from your muscles. Lower back pain may often be caused from a tight hamstring muscle or tight gluteals such as your gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in your body.

Fixing lower back pain isn’t just about massaging the spot where you’re feeling the pain. Usually it could originate in a different place and then because of how everything in our body is interconnected, larger muscles pulls smaller muscles out of alignment and we feel pain.

Lower back pain caused by referred pain

Trigger point therapy

Trigger point therapy foTo help this, your massage therapist will often use pressure in different areas of your body. This is known as trigger point therapy and can be the perfect solution to easing your chronic pain.

Otherwise, a deep tissue massage (often called sports massages) or light Swedish massage may also help to smooth away and thus release the tension caused by tight muscles and relieve your pain.

I have lower back pain, but I feel it more in my hip joint.

Again, although you’re feeling pain in one area, this is often caused by muscles which are tight in your glutes and legs, especially if you’re suffering with shooting nerve pain such as sciatica. Tight muscles can pull your joints closer together than they are meant to be, thus causing your bones to scrape against each other when we move.

Will stress in my shoulders and neck cause lower back pain?

Treating lower back pain with your neck massageSometimes you’ll find that a general back and glute massage will ease many pain across your spine that you didn’t even know you had until we started working you. Think about how small the bones and tiny muscles of your vertebrae are. If they’re connected to larger muscles, which pull them out of alignment, then you’ll feel pain all over the place. For instance, one common complaint that our therapists will often track shoulder and neck pain back to standing on one dominant leg.

It’s surprising when you read that therapy release techniques for your buttocks sometimes helps pain in your neck. But it can be one of the most effective techniques at giving relief.

So, what is the best type of massage for lower back pain then?

We haven’t tried to confuse you, but here’s the thing. For some people we may think it’s best to treat you with a gentle sacroiliac massage to improve blood flow to a specific area and allow your body to do the rest.

For others, you may need a more intense treatment that involves breaking down tight muscles. And there’s always a chance that the pain you’re suffering with won’t be muscular related, so we can’t rule that out either.

We won’t know until we meet you. Until we get our hands on you and track back to the source of your pain. This is when we’ll know what the best form of physical therapy is to give you relief from your low back pain.

Let us help you decide on the best massage for lower back pain.

We know this doesn’t help you, but this is why you pay for our time. Not for the type of massage. All you need to do is give us a summary of your issues on the consultation you’ll complete ahead of your session and then we’ll do the rest. All you need to do is to relax, safe in the knowledge that you’re in excellent hands. We have the experience and the training to understand your injury and adapt your session, so we focus on your individual needs.

Book your massage for lower back pain online now.

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Golfers elbow pain

We have an entire page on golfers elbow, symptoms and what you can do to ease the pain of golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis). This post here is about golfers elbow pain, and what goes on inside your body when you feel this discomfort.

Golfer’s elbow is a painful condition resulting in pain in your wrist, your forearm muscles and your hand and the inside of your elbow.

You need not be a golfer to suffer with inner elbow pain. You don’t even need to be doing regular exercises or sports activities. It’s possible to strain your muscle with no strenuous activity. If your muscles aren’t well toned, they will strain easier, as will your tendons.

This knock on effect can cause pain and tenderness, especially if you ignore it and your injury continues to build over time.

This is because the pain you feel results from inflamed tendons, an injury on the medial side (inside) of your elbow. These injuries derive from overuse of your affected arm.

These tendons slot into the long bone of your upper arm, which is why the pain radiates out. Because these are the tendons responsible for moving your wrist and your fingers. They’re also involved when you grip which is why you struggle with that when you’re dealing with golfer’s elbow.

You’ll see in this image that there are four superficial muscles in the anterior compartment on the inner portion of Muscle affected with golfer's elbow painyour elbow. Essentially your forearm muscles.

These are:

  • the flexor carpi ulnaris
  • palmaris longus
  • flexor carpi radialis
  • pronator teres.

They all originate from a common tendon which arises from the medial epicondyle of the humerus bone.

We’ve dealt with the symptoms of golfer’s elbow in our page dedicated to golfer’s elbow treatment.

Let’s look at what a tendon is then.

Our body is made up of several moving parts. A tendon is the end part of a muscle which connects our bones and muscles together. It’s strong, being made of collagen and fibres. It is also a tissue which stretches slightly to allow us to move, without over extending.

When we exercise we think about building our muscles. But, we often forget about these tiny pieces of tissue which work hard, and are less heavy duty than the muscles to which they connect. Although tendons can adapt to increasing demand, and can slowly self repair from injury, they become injured much easier than our larger muscles. And so we must be careful.

Why do we get tendon pain and inflammation in our elbow when we play golf?

Here are the major reasons we can develop pain and inflammation in our tendons.

Location of golfer's elbow pain

The overuse injury. Sudden increase in the load we’re putting on these small areas. This happens when, for instance, we’re doing a lot of extra activity. This could be in the gym, or if we’re gardening or decorating. It also happens when we’re learning or trying to improve a sport through repeated practise, such as golf. And this leads to the golfer getting golfer’s inner elbow pain.

The load doesn’t have to be sustained. If you fall and stop yourself, then this shock can inflame the small tendons easier than larger muscles.

*A work that gives you an unavoidable need to constantly overload through a sustained heavy activity.
*On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t use your elbow enough then our tendons get lazy. They don’t adapt to activity as well and therefore get damaged easier. We can’t manage as much load as we should without suffering with golfers injury pain.
Common risk factors that make us more predisposed to suffering with golfers elbow pain.
*Diabetes
*Rheumatoid arthritis
*Depression and anxiety
*Lifestyle factors such as smoking and being overweight also increase your chances of suffering more from golfer’s elbow pain.

Is it possible to prevent golfer’s elbow?

For sure. And now you’ve read this article, you’re in a much better place. As you know understand what happens when you strain your muscles in your forearm with repeated overuse, you can spot those activities, such as playing golf or playing tennis, which will lead to this painful condition of the elbow. Thus avoiding a trip to your doctor, or to us.

If you’re reading all of this because you are already suffering with golfer’s elbow pain, then you can book in for a remedial session online.

Prevent runner’s knee and knee pain running

What is runner’s knee?

Knee pain running is a common problem which is often called runner’s knee. It refers to a number of conditions which result in pain around the front of your knee (patellofemoral pain). This is when your kneecap briefly contacts your thigh bone. Ouch!

Overuse of your knee whilst you’re running irritates the nerves in and around your knee. The activity also overstretches the tendons which ends up, resulting in running knee pain.

It can also relate to a number of other running related injuries though.

There are non-surgical ways to treat runner’s knee pain.

What Causes Knee Pain When Running?

Knee running pain can be caused by a number of health related issues. For instance, how you stand makes a difference. If you have a collapsed arch, it may mean that your posture is off centre. This leads to more pressure on some joints than our body is naturally meant to take. And so our knee is often a point that is negatively affected through pounding the roads or treadmills. Runner's knee pain alignement

This alignment issues can also relate to unbalanced muscles. These can either be tight or weak in relation to the other muscles in the legs. This imbalance can push you off centre and increase the risk of subluxated, complete or partial kneecap dislocation. I don’t think anyone reading this will underestimate how much this can cause pain on joints, particularly in a long distance event such as a marathon.

The same effect happens if your bones aren’t aligned properly or they’re different lengths.

NOTE:

The British Journal of Sport’s Medicine notes that runners’ knee is two times more likely in women than men. This is because there is a bigger angle between a female’s thigh bone and her knee. This throws the alignment off and puts more stress on her knee, causing knee pain. 

Link between running and how you run

This is because there is a link between the distance run, the frequency and the power to knee pain. Therefore if you are looking to prevent knee pain running, then you need to balance your exercise schedule. Mix up the type of running, jogging, sprints etc with a variation in miles and distance you run along with other fitness work.

This is something that new runners often experience as they shock their system, but it is also equally important for experienced runners. If you run a lot, then you’re at risk from putting excessive stress on your knees. This can wear down the kneecap cartilage, which causes runner’s knee conditions such as chondromalacia or arthritis.

Don’t ignore the symptoms

*pain during or after running

*swelling

*stiffness

Don’t run through knee pain. This is your body warning you that something is wrong and ignoring it could cause further damage.

Runner’s Knee SymptomsIT band avoid knee pain running

The symptoms of runner’s knee vary by person; how your body is aligned, the type of training you are doing and also the specific injury you have picked up.

For example, you may suffer from any one of the following and it still be classed as runner’s knee:

*patellar knee tendonitis – inflammation of the tendons around the knee

*patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or chondromalacia. – cartilage eroding below the kneecap. This also results in pain behind your knee cap.

*increased pain running, particularly downhill, when you climb stairs or when you’re squatting or sitting for a longer period.

*irritation of the IT Band (iliotibial) outer knee pain whilst you’re running (lateral knee pain). This is more common in long-distance runners.

*meniscus tear – sharp pain in your knee when you run.

*back of knee pain (posterior pain) through soft tissue damage. Usually this will occur when you step in a pothole or twisting your knee some other way during your run.

 

Prevent Knee Pain Running

Correct running posture to prevent knee pain running

It’s important to warm up before you exercise, particularly if you want to avoid runner’s knee. Use stretching before and after and ensure you use the correct posture to make sure you put the right amount of load on each of your joints. This enables your muscles to work optimally – for speed and health.

When you start, don’t go at it all gun’s blazing. Build your distance and your speed up gradually so your body has time to adapt to the new load it is under. Don’t start out in some old trainers, make sure you get the proper gear. If the soles of your shoes are weak, then this will contribute to the alignment issues we discussed earlier. Proper support is imperative to prevent knee pain running.

Massage is also important to preventing knee pain running. Especially before a big event such as marathon or competition like a triathlon. Leave a good few days between your deep tissue massage and your event so that your muscles have time to heal back to their optimal level, or have a lighter massage such as Swedish massage closer to the event.

Do your event.

And then after, it’s important to have another massage to ease any strain and soreness out of your legs, lower back, knees and ankles. Depending on the competition, you may also find tightness in your shoulders too so give good consideration to making sure you have enough time booked in with your massage therapist.

Massage for sports works your muscles deep to ensure that there is no residual injury or tightness and thus will help prevent knee pain running. This is both during your event when you have a massage before and after in subsequent after event exercise when you have one after the event.

The moral of the story on how to prevent runner’s knee?

Do everything in moderation and get a regular good quality massage to avoid any of the stuff we’ve talked about here today! If you’d like to visit us in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex, you can book online.